Models Edie Campbell and Mica Arganaraz. Getty/ Vanni Bassetti
There's a reason we were so eager to label the shag cut as this year's It do: After steadily watching celeb after celeb (not to mention most people we know) chop their hair in some iteration of the same wavy, long bob, it was nice to see some influencers branching out and tackling something a little edgier. It's not that we don't like the lob—it's flattering and versatile—but what happened to the statement haircut of yesteryear?
Celeb hairstylist Harry Josh agrees that it's overdue for a resurgence. "I would love to have a moment that’s kind of the return of the haircut," he told us last week at a John Frieda showcase. "It’s been a very style–heavy past 10 years, where people rely on products and tools." (Indeed, just days before, Josh had styled Kristen Stewart's bob three different ways for a flurry of press appearances.) "In the '60s and early '80s, the haircut was what it was," he says. "You just had your cut, and you didn’t really have to do anything to it. But now everyone is scared to death to do an interesting haircut."
And that's the reason, he says, that the bob is having its day—we could have predicted it, really. "We have some staples in the arena of hair—everyone likes a long wavy hair look, and after you’ve had a long wavy hair look for some time, there’s only one place to go: short," he explains. "So then you try to reiterate and rehash the bob. How many versions of the bob can I do? Do I go wavy? Blunt? Inverted? Choppy? Once they go through all these ways of wearing it, they grow it back out again. It’s a cycle. And there’s really no place else to go, because everyone is really terrified to do something like bangs."
Kristen Stewart's bob, as styled by Josh. Getty/ Taylor Hill
That's not to say that, again, that there aren't a handful of trailblazers owning the shag as the subversive It 'do. But Josh wants to emphasize that it's just a small group—mainly up-and-coming models. "And even the bigger, more successful girls won’t do it," he says. "The younger, edgier girls are doing it, because they’re dictated by the hairdressers who are like, 'I’m not doing another bob. You’re getting a shag.' And then you look at people like Edie Campbell—not every girl is going to be cool enough to pull that style off. And it looks incredible on her."
Whether the rest of us are willing to try something new and different is, well, up to us. But as hopeful as he is, Josh is still a little doubtful. "I would love for it to go mainstream, but you would have to take either the social media stars or celebrities or someone else at that level. And I think until it gets to that point, it’s not going to happen. We’re lemmings! Everyone wants approval. Everyone’s too scared to do it. There are very few girls who are like, 'I don’t give a shit.' But I would love to see girls getting proper haircuts that are real looks."
Whether you go for the shag or are perfectly happy with your bob, texture spray is the product to have on hand. Try Sachajuan's Ocean Mist ($31).
You up for the challenge, Byrdie readers? What haircut are you considering this year?